I get irritable without my morning cup of coffee.
If you’re like me…you become unbearable.
But when you work from home/for yourself, grabbing your morning cuppa Joe is just part of your daily routine.
And you’re drinking coffee from your favourite mug.
The downside is when I chug too many cups of coffee in too few hours.
That ruins my day because I can’t focus on anything, I can’t type because my hands are shaking worse than a politician trying to tell the truth, and my heart feels like it’s trying to escape from my chest.
I’ve lost entire days to the jitters.
But I’ve learned from my mistakes.
So let’s take a look at how to counteract caffeine when you overdo things.
Why does coffee make me shaky?
Because caffeine is a stimulant.
A really delicious one.
In fact, if coffee tasted like shit we wouldn’t be having this conversation, now would we?
But at a chemical level it also does this thing called binding to your nerve receptors preventing this other chemical called adenosine from keeping you calm.
All of this screws up your adrenaline levels.
So your body is basically in fight-or-flight mode, which is why you not only start shaking but can also feel pretty high levels of anxiety at the same time.
What are the symptoms?
These vary from person to person, but what you can typically expect to feel when you drink more than a healthy amount of coffee includes:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sick stomach
- Increase blood pressure
- Feeling dizzy
Somebody else actually listed insomnia as a symptom!
Yes, you’ll have difficulty sleeping or resting when you blood type is “Dark Roast”.
Now, let’s take a look at how you can take the edge the effects of caffeine.
The dreaded jitters.
Getting Rid of the Coffee Jitters
So now let’s look at how to get caffeine out of your system…after yet another uncontrolled, and instantly regretted, coffee binge?
Well yes, you could. And decaffeinated coffee isn’t terrible…but it’s like non-alcoholic beer – you only ever really drink it by accident.
On a serious note, if you simply can’t control your coffee consumption, then maybe switching to decaff is an option.
Give it time
If you wait long enough the caffeine will eventually flush itself from your system.
How long do you need to wait for that nervous energy to go away?
It can take anywhere up to 6 hours before you start feeling normal again.
Plus, sitting around when you’re on a caffeine high isn’t always easy because your mind and heart are racing.
Now, here’s an interesting idea – go for a run, do push-ups and squats, lift some weights, or work out on a bag.
Because, allegedly, doing that helps your body to metabolize the caffeine way quicker.
This makes sense when you think about it because most pre-workout drinks contain lots of caffeine.
And one of the “effects” of caffeine is a ton of short-term energy.
Obviously, please monitor your heart rate because if it’s already elevated you don’t want to push that into a dangerous area.
You know when you’re having a crazy busy day, so you’re 3 coffees in before you even eat lunch?
And then you forget to eat lunch.
By 2pm you have 2 litres of raw coffee swishing around in your gut, but no food.
That’s a really quick way to get coffee jitters.
So the simple solution here is to eat something nutritious, ideally containing a reasonable amount of healthy carbs.
This is my personal favorite tip, and besides exercise, the only way I’ve found that actually helps me.
Here’s why drinking water is a great way to deal with the coffee shakes.
Firstly, coffee acts as a diuretic, so you’ll pee a lot.
And when you pee enough you’ll become dehydrated.
Then when you combine the effects of dehydration with a large dose of caffeine you get an incredibly unsettling feeling in your entire body.
Plus nausea and a headache thrown in for good measure.
Any time I’ve gone overboard with coffee consumption, sipping 2 liters of water over the space of about 30 minutes has worked for me.
It’s not a cure for the jitters but drinking water really, really helps take the edge off.
Now, here we’re going to get into a supplement you can take to specifically help with the side effects of drinking tons of coffee.
It basically allows you to keep the mental clarity of a coffee buzz, but without feeling like you’re coming undone at the seams.
So, kinda like the movie Limitless…but without the Russian gangsters and awful side effects.
This amino acid is readily available over the counter from your local pharmacist, or from any health store.
It’s that safe.
Or, you could simply buy some coffee that’s already had L-Theanine added to it.
Kimera Coffee is what you’re looking for in that case.
What Probably Won’t Help
There’s lots of advice on how to get rid of the coffee jitters doing the rounds.
Here’s a few that I’m not really convinced by.
Actually, one of them is hilarious.
Some people suggest drinking a herbal tea to help with the jitters.
But tea contains caffeine too, so that’s like throwing gasoline on a smouldering fire to douse the flames.
I’m not dissing herbal teas here, but I’m pretty sure any relief you’ll feel from drinking a cup of chamomile tea is similar to a placebo.
And that goes double if it’s decaffeinated tea.
Take a nap
I’m not sure who came up with this one, but it’s funny as hell.
Have you ever tried to take a nap while wired on caffeine?
It’s literally impossible.
You can hear grass growing outside your house, for God’s sake.
The theory here is that Vitamin C, like eating an orange, can help reduce the impact of the caffeine jitters, but there doesn’t seem to be any real evidence why it would work.
Plus, oranges are acidic so you’d be pouring more acid into the pool of acidic coffee in your stomach.
Can Vitamin C help with the caffeine jitters?
I haven’t tried this so can’t vouch for it.
Don’t drink as much coffee
That’s quitters talk right there. Pfffft, what else am I meant to do with my life?
But moderation is sensible, to be fair.
So there you have numerous ways to get rid of the jitters, coffee fans.
Drinking coffee is one of my favourite things to do while I’m working, or even just when I’m chilling out reading a book.
But it’s all too easy to have that cup too many.
At least now you have several ways of dealing with the jitters if they do sneak up on you.
Coffee Jitters FAQ
How long do coffee jitters last?
The coffee jitters last anywhere up to about 6 hours depending on how many cups of delicious coffee you’ve consumed.
Is drinking too much caffeine harmful?
Yes, drinking too much caffeine over the long-term can lead to a variety of health problems.
But I’ll tell you what a doctor told a close friend when he complained about suffering from insomnia.
After questioning him the doctor found out my friend was drinking 12 cups of coffee per day.
Every single day.
The doctor put it to him bluntly, “Cut back or you’re going to have a heart attack.”
How much coffee is too much?
How much coffee you can drink without getting jittery will be down to the strength of the coffee, your body mass, your current hydration level, and your general health.
But if you drink 6 double espressos in 4 hours, you’re going to feel the effects of that.